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ecdp Lived Experience Report - Access to Work and Driver Support

ecdp Lived Experience Report - Access to Work and Driver Support

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Published by ecdp
Disabled people may be prevented from working due to government red tape

Disabled people may find it more difficult to get in and stay in work because of government red tape.

A change to the rules used by Access to Work – a government employment support programme for disabled people – means that those successfully employing a personal assistant (PA) to support them travelling to and from work will be forced to give up this support for more expensive options.

The extra cost to just one member we worked with will be as much as £300 a week, or a one off cost of over £600.

ecdp has been contacted by a number of disabled people – including blind people who cannot drive themselves – who have already been affected by this change, which means it is more difficult for them to carry out their work.

Just last week, in recognition of the red tape being applied to those supporting disabled people to travel, the Department for Transport issued guidance for licensing authorities. However, Access to Work said to ecdp they will not be applying this guidance.

Mike Adams, ecdp’s Chief Executive said:

“This red tape means that disabled people, and their staff, will have to jump through extra bureaucratic hoops just to carry on working.

“The potential cost for disabled people and to the public purse could be significant.
“Access to Work is designed to support disabled people so that they can have the same choice and control as non-disabled people when maintaining their work. Unfortunately, this change does not appear to be in line with that aim.

“What’s more, the application of this law by Access to Work is inconsistent. It appears to directly contradict guidance issued by the Department for Transport issued just last week.”

ecdp is calling upon Access to Work to urgently reexamine and reverse their application of this policy, in light of the experiences of some of our members and in line with the guidance issued by the Department for Transport and the local application of licensing laws by Borough Councils.

To achieve this we are fully committed to working with Access to Work, the Department for Transport, local Borough Councils, our members and any other relevant stakeholders.
Disabled people may be prevented from working due to government red tape

Disabled people may find it more difficult to get in and stay in work because of government red tape.

A change to the rules used by Access to Work – a government employment support programme for disabled people – means that those successfully employing a personal assistant (PA) to support them travelling to and from work will be forced to give up this support for more expensive options.

The extra cost to just one member we worked with will be as much as £300 a week, or a one off cost of over £600.

ecdp has been contacted by a number of disabled people – including blind people who cannot drive themselves – who have already been affected by this change, which means it is more difficult for them to carry out their work.

Just last week, in recognition of the red tape being applied to those supporting disabled people to travel, the Department for Transport issued guidance for licensing authorities. However, Access to Work said to ecdp they will not be applying this guidance.

Mike Adams, ecdp’s Chief Executive said:

“This red tape means that disabled people, and their staff, will have to jump through extra bureaucratic hoops just to carry on working.

“The potential cost for disabled people and to the public purse could be significant.
“Access to Work is designed to support disabled people so that they can have the same choice and control as non-disabled people when maintaining their work. Unfortunately, this change does not appear to be in line with that aim.

“What’s more, the application of this law by Access to Work is inconsistent. It appears to directly contradict guidance issued by the Department for Transport issued just last week.”

ecdp is calling upon Access to Work to urgently reexamine and reverse their application of this policy, in light of the experiences of some of our members and in line with the guidance issued by the Department for Transport and the local application of licensing laws by Borough Councils.

To achieve this we are fully committed to working with Access to Work, the Department for Transport, local Borough Councils, our members and any other relevant stakeholders.

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Published by: ecdp on Aug 15, 2011
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09/18/2012

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Access to Work andDriver Support
ecdp Lived Experience reportAugust 2011
 
Access to Work and Driver Support: ecdp Lived Experience reportPage 2 of 14
 
Access to Work and Driver Support: ecdp Lived Experience report
Executive summary
A recent change to Access to Work guidance means that people who receive‘driver support’ from their Personal Assistant can no longer receive thatsupport if the PA is using their own car.This leaves Access to Work users with the following options in order to maintaintheir employment arrangements:
To insure their PA to drive the Access to Work user’s own car (if they haveone)
Have their PA insured on a company car provided by the Access to Workuser’s employer 
Use a taxi.This change has been reflected in guidance issued to Access to Workadvisers, and has already started to take effect for people who receiveAccess to Work.The policy being applied by Access to Work advisors appears to directlycontradict guidance released by the Department for Transport concerningPrivate Hire Vehicle Licensing.The licensing bodies within local Borough Councils, who supply licences for Private Hire Vehicles, do not feel that PAs need to be licenced, especially inlight of the new Department for Transport guidance.There are significant cost implications for Access to Work (and thus the publicpurse) in applying this change: an indicative case study of someone with avisual impairment and so who can’t drive suggests these costs range from aone-off extra cost of nearly £620 to an extra weekly cost of £300.Since this doesn’t take account of travel within work or the indirect costs tothe PA of acquiring the licence, this is likely to be an underestimate.
ecdp
believes this change to be:
Inconsistent
: Access to Work’s guidance directly contradicts guidanceissued by the Department for Transport
Bureaucratic
: this change will result in extra hoops for people who receiveAccess to Work to jump through
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